Giants fall in Zimbabwe Premier League

FC Platinum in discussion Supplied

Troubled giants Dynamos came within seconds of a third consecutive win, only for former son King Nasama to stop the party with a 90th-minute equaliser for Chicken Inn as the headline fixture of matchday 18 ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

It was a weekend of upsets in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League, with top of the table FC Platinum suffering a first home defeat in two years, while second-placed Ngezi Platinum were handed a fourth consecutive loss at Herentals. Bulawayo giants Highlanders also hit the canvas on a visit to Black Rhinos.

Among the top seven teams, only Triangle tasted victory after a 5-0 thrashing of relegation-threatened Shabanie to move third with 32 points, six behind Ngezi.

The major event of the weekend, however, was at Rufaro Stadium, where Chicken Inn had arrived in search of a win that would bring them closer to the top two, only to encounter a determined Dynamos side battling to sustain their own mini-revival.

The visitors had dominated possession from the outset, but Dynamos were also looking threatening on the counter.

DeMbare forward Quality Kangadze broke the deadlock soon after the break with his fifth of the season, before strike partner Kuda Kumwala missed a couple of good chances.

And it was Nasama, who was discarded by coach Lloyd Mutasa at the beginning of the year, who would make Dynamos pay with a stoppage time equaliser.

Highlanders endured a not so happy return to the capital after Vincent Mhandu grabbed an early goal to set Rhinos to a 1-0 victory, their fourth in the last five matches.

The army side have risen to eighth in the standings, just a point behind Highlanders, who are struggling to overcome a poor run which has yielded only three wins in 11 games.

There are no such problems for Taurai Mangwiro's Triangle, who made it four wins in five after outclassing Shabanie.

Early goals from Ralph Kawondera and Lameck Nhamo put Triangle 2-0 up inside the opening 10 minutes, and the result was put beyond doubt as Phineas Bamusi and Collins Dhuwa added two more strikes by the half-hour mark.

Young Delic Murimba then sealed a comprehensive win for the sugar cane farmers, who have impressed neutrals with their resilience this term.

Triangle's win came just 24 hours after log leaders Platinum were stunned 2-1 at home by ZPC Kariba to end an unbeaten home record stretching back to June 2016.

Tawanda Nyamandwe and Tawanda Munyanduri scored either side of the break to put Kariba 2-0 up, and although Rodwell Chinyengetere pulled one back on 75 minutes, the visitors held on for a famous win.

However, second-placed Ngezi failed to take advantage of Platinum's slip as they lost 1-0 to Herentals, with teenager Tinotenda Benza grabbing the match winner on the half-hour mark to leave Tonderai Ndiraya's team in a full-bloodied crisis.

The win lifted promoted Herentals into tenth place with 22 points, six above the relegation places.

There were also vital wins for relegation threatened Yadah FC and Nichrut, with the former edging Bulawayo Chiefs 1-0 to keep their heads above the water in the survival battle. Nichrut beat bottom-placed Mutare City 2-0 to move above fourth-from-bottom Chapungu on goal difference.